Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Man who met girlfriend when 16 sentenced to 18 months in her rape

A Wailuku, Hawaii man who raped and kidnapped his ex-“girlfriend,” a woman he started having sex with when he was 16 and she was 21, was sentenced to 18 months of probation, which was a sentence which angered and frightened his victim, his ex-girlfriend. Joseph Sado Jr., 19, was convicted of charges including rape and kidnapping for incidents which occurred last year, culminating in rape the last day of September 2007.

“I’m just really upset with the results, that he’s getting away with the crime he committed. His family’s out here in the community still harassing me,” his victim said.

Deputy Prosecutor Robert Rivera, who asked for a 10 year prison term, said “the worst fear about what can happen in a sentencing just happened. Our victim feels revictimized and retraumatized through just that hearing alone. It’s hurtful and it’s devastating, and she is in fear.”

Deputy Public Defender Wendy Hudson, who argued for probation, said that both victim and defendant are in new relationships, despite Sado spending all of his time in jail following his September 30 arrest.

“I don’t think she has anything to fear. He wants to stay as far away from her as possible. They’re both in new relationships.”She said Sado was pleased with his sentence that also included 200 hours of community service as part of five years’ probation. “He was happy the judge actually listened to him,” Hudson said.

In the latest case, Sado was convicted of kidnapping and two reduced counts of second-degree sexual assault on Sept. 29 to 30 after the 23-year-old woman reported she was held against her will and raped by Sado after she agreed to meet at his residence to talk and agreed to go for a ride with him, according to police.

In a letter to the court, Sado denied kidnapping and sexually assaulting the woman, Rivera said. But he described how Sado “pummeled” the woman on her face, back, neck, shoulders and arms while driving more than 80 mph in her car. He told her, “You know I can kill you” and “I’m going to take you where I can bury you,” Rivera said.After more than an hour, he drove back to his residence, where she reported being raped. She called police after Sado fell asleep.

Sado also had pleaded no contest to abuse and second-degree criminal property damage for hitting the woman, then kicking and hitting her blue 2007 Nissan sedan as she was trying to leave after a June 22, 2007, argument, according to court records.He pleaded no contest to a reduced charge of second-degree burglary, abuse and two counts of violating an order for protection for entering the Kihei apartment where his former girlfriend was staying with her mother on Aug. 20, grabbing her cellular telephone and punching her on both sides of her face, according to court records. She reported that he left, then twice called the residence using the cellular phone, once while a police officer was there.

Hudson stated that the woman was 21 when she started dating the 16 year old Sado, who had just finished his sophomore year of high school. Hudson blamed the victim for changing Sado’s personality, being controlling, and provoking him into confrontations.

“She set her sights on him. They started dating. He’s now getting alcohol, regular sex. All the while he’s still in school. Before he met her, he’s fun-loving, he’s smiling. He doesn’t get into any kind of trouble until he started his relationship with her. We believe that Joe acted under strong provocation. This is not going to happen again. We’re in no way saying she deserved any of this. We do apologize. It’s not just one-sided.”

[Hudson] said arguments between the two began escalating. Sado’s former girlfriend could be “loud and obnoxious,” as well as “very jealous, very controlling,” Hudson said.

Hudson read part of Sado’s letter to the court that said: “I’m not saying when I hit her it’s OK. Cause I know it’s not. But that’s how our relationship was.”After apologizing in court to his family and “for all the stuff I did” to his former girlfriend, Sado said, “It wasn’t just me, it was both of us.”

His uncle, Duwayne Kosi, who was among more than a dozen family members in the courtroom gallery, described Sado as a “great, awesome boy” who would watch the woman’s children while she was at work.“I despise and hate sexual assailants and predators, and he’s not one of them,” Kosi said. “He’s just a child, and he was manipulated in this relationship.”Rivera said the focus should be on Sado’s actions in the criminal cases.

The woman’s aunt, who lived near the two when they were together, said she would hear yelling. While she didn’t see her niece being abused, “I would see the aftermath, and the aftermath wasn’t nice.” She said she saw her niece with black eyes and a broken jaw.Sado had a juvenile record for theft and assault before he met his former girlfriend and had at least three later abuse convictions, Rivera said. A report prepared for the sentencing listed 24 factors supporting imprisonment and two supporting no incarceration.

2nd Circuit Court Judge Joel August said that probation supervision is more intensive than parole supervision, and that sex offender treatment can be undertaken outside as well as inside prison walls.

“Given that all of these charges grew out of a personal relationship and were not charges involving the defendant picking on random members of the community, and given his age, it’s the court’s prediction that he would be released from incarceration some time within the next 24 months and be back in society with no oversight other than the paroling authority, which is not much. It does not compare with to the kind of oversight and control which is provided by the probation department.

While sentencing Mr. Sado to a long term of imprisonment would satisfy the desire for retribution, it would almost guarantee recidivism and present a greater risk for society.”

Judge August also prohibited contact between Sado and his victim, and use of alcohol or illegal drugs. He also ordered Sado to write an apology letter to his victim explaining the damage she suffered, and sentenced Sado to 200 hours of community service.

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